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Factors to Consider When Planning Your Office Design and Layout

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Design Ideas For A New Startup Company

The challenge of planning an efficient office design and layout can seem like a daunting task. Several key factors must be considered to secure a space that balances utilitarian functionalities with creative interior design.

Whether the purpose of designing a new office layout is for expanding, remodeling, or moving into new office quarters, the process can be exciting, albeit slightly overwhelming. After all, your office design can significantly affect your personal image.

With careful considerations to office space planning, you can create an office space that promotes productivity and innovation in the workplace while attracting and retaining talent with the company.

Here are the key elements you have to consider when designing your new office:

1.    Your requirements

top reasons and goals your business has for a new space

First things first, your planning process should define the planning requirements of your new office design. Whether it’s moving to a new space or renovating the current office layout, start by defining the top reasons and goals your business has for a new space. Yes, it takes a lot of time and money to design/redesign your office and the reasons why you are planning to make changes in the design should guide your whole design process.

Some reasons may include office relocation, a merger or acquisition, or it may come down to the simple need to consolidate existing space as your business experiences departmental shifts and new divisions of labor.

Similarly, the main goals to redesign office space may be to increase productivity and efficiency or rebrand the business to modernize it for internal and external audiences, making it easier to attract new talent to the company.

By first understanding the purpose and requirements of a new office layout, you can discover ‘best practices’ and design trends, as well as the right professional interior design company to work with that, speaks to your brand’s personality.

2.    The importance of lighting

Lighting, be it your home or your office, is one of the most important aspects in the whole designing process from an interior designer’s perspective. When natural lighting is used in a corporate space, firms can reduce their energy consumption and lower electricity bills. But the use of natural light can have an impact on office productivity and overall health as well. The use of natural light in an office setting has been shown to boost productivity, work satisfaction and mood, and worker health. Natural light, therefore, is beneficial for the overall mood in the office.

As such, when designing your new office layout, consider the importance of natural light. Natural light is vital for productivity and motivation purposes. Take into consideration that office furniture or equipment does not obstruct or block sources of natural light.

Complement natural light with modern lighting technology such as LED lighting solutions to truly create an office space that’s conducive for work.

3.    The right colors

importance of lighting

Designing a new layout for your office is the perfect time to integrate color schemes to your office setting. Colors are a powerful form of communication. They can evoke certain emotional responses according to the selected color scheme.

Picking a perfect color for your office can be a bit challenging and is a bit different from picking a perfect color combination for your condo. When developing a new layout, use color to its fullest potential. Incorporating the color green through workspaces, for example, has significant implications on office productivity, efficiency, and employee recruitment and retention. 

Examine your brand’s style guideline and use colors that work with your company’s branding.

Striking the right balance is key when incorporating color to design elements. Too much color can become overbearing and fatiguing. Similarly, not enough color, or having too much white can hinder the productivity in an office environment.

4.    Navigation and space

floor plan

An effective floor plan will ensure your office layout is functional and serves its utilitarian purpose for fire code safety and evacuation plans. At the same time, fluid navigation can affect collaboration and team engagement. 

Managing and utilizing space effectively ensures that your new floor plan can strategically scale with the business as it grows strength to strength.

Special considerations to navigation and space create a task-orientated working environment that enables employees to perform and collaborate better while accommodating growth.           

The new office layout should also consider the importance of varying working environments. This includes creating spaces for collaborative work and individual, quiet projects.

5.    Turning the workplace into a destination

workplace into a destination

 

With virtual offices and remote work on the rise, organizations must create offices that enhance culture and is fully enjoyed by its staff. With office space being a valuable real estate investment, companies must utilize every square inch to create a work environment that’s inviting, inspiring, and comfortable.

Furniture throughout the office should be flexible and multi-functional. Multi-purpose rooms, a working cafe, and lounge spaces give staff a desirable destination that they will fully employ day in and day out. When planning a new office layout, democratize key areas of the office.

This encourages active participation, strategic collaboration, and improved productivity.

Seeing the big picture

The design and layout of your office’s workspace will have a significant impact on productivity, engagement, employee satisfaction, brand impact, and talent recruitment. Careful consideration must be given to planning to create an office layout that’s approachable and strategically designed to be conducive to work.

It’s not possible to take into consideration the individual choices of color, lighting, space etc. Therefore, as a designer, your aim should be creating a design which is acceptable to ‘most’ of the people i.e. any design idea which is generally acceptable.

Of course, you can use your skills and knowledge as a designer to come up with something brilliant, but you should remember that the office will be used by regular people and every individual is going to have a different taste and preference. A general approach, therefore, is the best way to go.

AUTHOR BIO
Shane Curran
CEO at Interact Group LLC
Interact Group is a design-led interior fit-out company that aims to set new standards in the UAE interiors market. Driven by their dedication to total customer experience, the company’s mission is to bring truly specialized teams to complex design and fit out challenges, utilizing their unmatched ability to deliver spaces efficiently and above expectation.

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Digital Industries that are still providing opportunities for Startups in 2020

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digital industries

Whether it’s your first time or your fifth, starting up your own business or enterprise is no easy feat. The business landscape had been completely revolutionised in recent years however, especially thanks to the emergence of digital industries and tech trends. As a result, there are many more areas now in which fledgling businesses can be set up that offer great prospects and the potential for growth.

Many more investors, too, are taking an interest in the tech sector, as it’s one of the more stable industries that does seem to offer a security that others can’t in the rapidly increasing digitilisation of the world.

Here are five of the most promising industries that are still providing great opportunities for startups in 2020.

FinTech

Short for Financial Technology, FinTech has been a top industry for startups for a few years now, but it really began to take off in 2018, when the update to the EU’s Payment Services Directive – PSD2 – came into effect.

This new regulation had a two-fold effect; consumers became better protected during online transactions, and businesses in the industry were able to develop innovations like Open Banking. Consequently, third party organisations have also been able to gain access to consumer banking data (with their permission) leading to a boom in fintech startups who are looking to provide the services that consumers just can’t get from traditional banks.  

The industry is fast becoming more competitive, but there’s still plenty of room and need for original ideas, or products targeted at specific demographics.

Gaming

Gaming is now a vast industry that spans not just PC gaming, but specialised gaming genres like Fortnite‘s Battle Royale, professional eSports tournaments, iGaming platforms like PokerStars, mobile gaming, and even Virtual Reality games through platforms like Steam.

The gaming industry as a whole is expected to generate a total of $159.3 billion revenue in 2020 (a 9.3% year on year growth when compared to 2019), that is projected to reach over $200 billion by 2023. It’s a highly lucrative industry, particularly the mobile market which, thanks to smartphone penetration and a surge in popularity in gaming apps during Q1 2020, will account for revenues of $77.2 billion in 2020 – a 13.3% increase from 2019.

Mobile also has what are probably the lowest barriers to entry: there are now 5.28 billion people in the world who own a mobile device (just under 68% of the world’s total population), and gaming apps make up 33% of all app downloads across Android and iOS app stores.

Educational Technology

Aka EdTech. This is undoubtedly one of the most lucrative industries to emerge in recent years – global investments in the sector reached a massive $16.3 billion in 2018 alone. It’s an industry that thrives on disruptive ideas that challenge the traditional methods of learning and education, plus as our lives become more digital there’s an increased need for integrated learning. 

In 2020, education can and should be accessible by anyone anywhere; online courses can empower and mobilise disenfranchised sections of society, online training can provide affordable and sustainable skills development for organisations, and digital solutions can benefit both students and teachers via things like automated processes, AI based learning assessments tailored to each individual, Virtual Reality classrooms and so on.

Wearable Tech

Bio-hacking. It sounds gruesome, but it’s actually a growing practice amongst consumers that refers to the daily habit of making micro lifestyle changes that will scientifically transform a person’s physical and mental experiences. If you’ve come across bulletproof coffee or intermittent fasting, they’re both two great examples of bio-hacking practices. However, like many 21st century practices, bio-hacking is also intimately linked to technology, opening up the potential for start-ups in the wearable tech sectors.

It’s rare to find someone who isn’t interested in optimising their time, energy, nutrition or overall lifestyle these days, and that’s exactly what wearable tech like smart watches, fitness trackers, sleep monitors, and even Sci-Fi-esque embeddable implants offer. Widen the net even further, and there’s also a clear link between the efficiency of wearable tech with the modern consumer’s need to stay connected with people, news, and information on the go, so it’s no wonder this sector is expedited to be worth $34.61 billion by the end of this year.

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Planning to pursue an MBA? Here are the 3 things you should consider

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pursue an MBA 3 things to consider

Making a decision to pursue your MBA is a huge step. Once you have finally made the decision, though, comes the hard part, getting prepared. Pursuing an MBA is a bit more involved than simply choosing a school and applying. Keep reading to learn about 3 ways you can help yourself prepare for your MBA. 

Talk to Graduates

The best way to get your head wrapped around what this journey will be like is to talk to others who have already been there. It is best to talk to people who are currently working on their MBA or who have recently graduated. This will give you the most relevant information. 

You may want to pick their brains concerning things like the time commitment. Realistically, how much time needs to be invested? This is a very important question if you will also be trying to work while earning your MBA. Another important question to ask will be what were the biggest challenges of the program? 

If you do not personally know anyone working on an MBA right now, you can connect with students through your academic advisor or even through LinkedIn. 

Refresh 

Some schools require that you pass the GMAT in order to be admitted to an MBA program. Preparing for this exam is an important part of the MBA process. If you do not wish to take the GMAT, you should look for programs that have no GMAT requirement. 

If you have been out of undergraduate school for a bit, then the idea of heading back into the classroom may feel intimidating. The best way to get through this is by taking a refresh course or two. Many business schools will offer primer courses such as accounting, or business analytics which are a great way to get you warmed back up to the pace and expectations of regular classes. 

Many primer courses are available online, which can be very helpful if you are still working or if you have not made a final decision yet about pursuing your MBA. Working through a few primer courses will give you the chance to see if you can realistically handle the workload in addition to your other life obligations right now. 

Know Where You Are Headed 

In order to save yourself some time and hassle, it is a good idea to figure out ahead of time exactly what you hope to gain from this MBA and what direction you want it to take you in. By the time people are ready for graduate school, most have a pretty well-defined idea of what their career path is. However, if you don’t, it is very important that you clarify and define this for yourself before starting your MBA. Most MBA programs will have distinct concentration areas. You will need to pick a concentration area before beginning your studies. 

At this point in your life, you want to make sure that any investment of money or time that you make is well-targeted. You don’t want to waste time or money. Fine-tune your goals so that the concentration you pick lines up with your intentions and aspirations. 

Earning an MBA is a great way to take your career to the next level. Use these tips to help you prepare for this big step. 

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Excellent Suggestions to Fortify Macbook’s Security

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Excellent Suggestions to Fortify Macbook’s Security

Macbooks are reliable, and you should not have too many problems. However, one still cannot predict when a potential threat could threaten the security of the computer. Even if you are an individual user, you should still create a solid system that fortifies Macbook’s security and gives you peace of mind.

If you have become interested in cybersecurity recently, then it may be that you are still relatively inexperienced. Here are some great suggestions that will help you prevent potential threats for the Mac.

Suggestion #1 – Get Reliable Antivirus

Reliable antivirus should be the first thing on the list. Some people argue that the default software XProtect is enough to protect the system, but it does not provide much safety.

Cleaner software has become an answer to the antivirus problem as well. Mac owners use cleanup utility tools or disk analyzer apps to get rid of temporary junk and other unwanted data. Some such software has built-in antivirus features and can scan the system, detect the threats, and eliminate the infected files. 

While disk analyzer applications and cleanup software is an option, you would still be better off getting antivirus that ensures safety. Spend some time to read reviews online or ask for recommendations from people you know and trust. If you are investing money in good antivirus, you want to get the best possible product.

Suggestion #2 – Enable Firewall

Excellent Suggestions to Fortify Macbook’s Security

The firewall is disabled by default on Macbooks. If you are looking to add that extra layer of security, go to the Security and Privacy tab and click on the Firewall. Unlock the lock icon by entering your password and turn the tool on. 

A firewall helps when you are using potentially vulnerable software that might get exposed over the internet. The Firewall itself should not cause any performance issues, so you will not notice any difference using the Macbook.

Suggestion #3 – Use Virtual Private Networks

Virtual private networks are necessary if you want to mask your presence on the internet and avoid online threats. A VPN gives your computer a different IP address and hides your identity and location.

In addition to anonymity, you can also keep your data secure and encrypted. Potential attackers cannot access your personal information. 

Public Wi-Fi is an excellent trap example for unsuspecting people. Hackers might be targeting public networks. If you are in a hotel, cafe, or a park and want to connect to a public network, you would be smart to use a VPN.

Suggestion #4 – Create Strong Passwords

Do not get in the habit of using simple passwords. People avoid complicated combinations because they are afraid of forgetting them. However, there are smartphone applications that keep your passwords. Also, you still have the option of writing down the passwords on a piece of paper.

Ensure that your passwords are more than just a random combination of a word and a couple of symbols. Also, use different passwords for different accounts because if another person finds out your password for one profile, they will have access to your other accounts as well.

Suggestion #5 – Avoid Shady Links

Do not click on an URL if you find it unusual. Even if you receive a link from someone you know and trust, ignoring it would be the smartest thing to do. Otherwise, you can end up on a landing page that is crawling with viruses, malware, and other cybersecurity threats that even your antivirus might not repel.

Suggestion #6 – Disable Auto-Login Feature

The auto-login feature is convenient when you want to save time, but it is also a weakness in the overall Macbook security strategy. If you never take the computer to public places, then you can keep the auto-login enabled. However, imagine what would happen if someone got your computer and could access it without entering the password? Disabling the auto-login is a precaution, and it should be present even if you are slightly annoyed by having to enter the password each time the Macbook loads.

Suggestion #7 – Install Updates

System updates provide more than just performance improvements and new features. There are security patches as well, especially when the developers have to react to the most recent cybersecurity threats. Do not delay and install the most recent system updates at your earliest convenience. 

Suggestion #9 – Get Ad Blocker for Browser

An internet browser is another application that you should upgrade with cybersecurity tools. Ad blockers are a good example of how you can stop certain threats. An ad blocker prevents pop-ups, banners, and other types of advertisements that aggressively promote questionable pages. And one can click on such ads accidentally. 

On the other hand, if you have an ad blocker, you would not see advertisements and not put yourself at risk of clicking on one.

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